By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
In partnership with the Tewksbury Public Library, the Dover Town Library shared an online event this past Friday, July 7th, titled “One More For My Baby – The Hollywood Songbook of Frank Sinatra.” This virtual event was led by professor emeritus at Fordham University, Brian Rose.
Rose, who taught at Fordham for 38 years in the Department of Communication and Media Studies, has written several books on television history and cultural programming. Added within this impressive resume, he also has conducted over a hundred Q&A’s with leading directors, actors, and writers for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.
In terms of Frank Sinatra, Rose stated at the very beginning of the presentation, “There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Frank Sinatra was the greatest singer to ever set foot in Hollywood. His voice, so mesmerizing in person and so evocative in recordings, was ideally suited for the big screen as well. And his 100 musical performances and motion pictures reveal a vocalist who, almost from the start, recognized how the camera could enhance his artistry as much as the microphone.”
Throughout the entirety of Rose’s talk, he showcased Sinatra’s rise to fame and the very bumpy road it took to get there. While this was only an hour's depiction of Sinatra’s Hollywood and musical career, Rose mentioned how he could present on Sinatra for hours, just going through his personal life and other incredible stories.
The overall structure of this presentation consisted of Rose giving a quick highlight of each time period and showing clips from certain movies and musical performances. While showing each of these clips, Rose could be seen singing along with Sinatra, absolutely infatuated with his voice and starpower. It was easy to see just how much Rose loves Sinatra and talking about his musical career.
Before taking questions at the end, Rose concluded his talk by showing one of his personal favorites, the number from 1954’s ‘Young at Heart.’ He stated, “This is where Frank Sinatra’s mastery of emotional storytelling is on full display. It starts in a nosy nightclub with Sinatra at the piano, lost in his own private revelry in heartache, as he begins to sing ‘One For My Baby (And One More for the Road.)’ A few minutes later, Doris Day appears, showing him she has complied with his request to remove the bracelet given to her by her former boyfriend. He gives her just the briefest of smiles in recognition. As he brings the song to a close, his veil of melancholy, slowly lifted at last.”
All in attendance were encapsulated with this presentation by Rose. His next discussion will be about the voice of the 20th Century: Elvis Presley in Hollywood.